Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe’s Budget 2019 is set to increase the prices of diesel, petrol, coal, and cigarettes, according to the Irish Independent.
The Minister is looking to raise money to fund social welfare hikes and income tax reductions, and he has suggested introducing a series of ‘stealth taxes’ on workers and businesses.
At the top of this list, as is understood by the Irish Independent, is the Carbon Tax, which will drive up the cost of home heating and motoring.
In addition, the excise duty on cigarettes will also rise, however, it is not yet known if it will replicate last year’s 50c increase.
"Carbon tax is a definite but we need to be careful. It could backfire because workers and people in rural Ireland will be hit worst," one Cabinet source told the Irish Independent.
Discussions are believed to be already underway in mitigating the effect of a carbon tax on rural, low-income families and the elderly - with a weekly fuel allowance increase being considered.
One positive push from the carbon tax is as an answer to Ireland’s lack of progress on tackling climate change and high energy consumption.
Last week, in its pre-budget submission, The Solid Fuel Trade Group, whose members supply the majority of coal, briquettes and other regulated solid fuels nationally, warned the Minister for Finance against a further increase in the carbon tax.
The fuel group said that the increased tax would cause unintended consequences on several levels including public health, the environment and the exchequer, as any further increase in tax will drive demand for more polluting fuels such as sod turf, wet wood and untaxed coal products as ‘fuel-poor’ people would look for a quick and easy alternative, the group said.
© 2018 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Aidan O’Sullivan. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.